Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access


Snailfishes of the Careproctus rastrinus complex (Liparidae): redescriptions of seven species in the North Pacific Ocean region, with the description of a new species from the Beaufort Sea



Herein we review and recognize as valid all previously described species of the Careproctus rastrinus complex based on morphological evidence, provide diagnoses and descriptions of all species, describe a new species from the Beaufort Sea, and address the misapplication of several names throughout the area. In particular, the name C. rastrinus is restricted to populations of the western Pacific and is known conclusively only from the Sea of Okhotsk. Careproctus acanthodes, from the Sea of Japan and Sea of Okhotsk, and C. pellucidus, from the Pacific Ocean side of northern Japan, are resurrected from synonymy with C. rastrinus. Populations of the eastern Pacific previously routinely identified as C. rastrinus are recognized under two names: C. scottae, a name that is applied to deeper water Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands, and eastern Pacific populations having a postorbital pore, and Careproctus phasma, applied to shallow water populations of the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska lacking a postorbital pore. Although we consider Careproctus spectrum valid, the species has been routinely misidentified and is presently known only from the type series. Careproctus lerikimae is a new species described from the Beaufort Sea, diagnosed from other species of the C. rastrinus complex by the absence of the postorbital pore and higher median fin and vertebral counts.



Pisces, Teleostei, Alaska, Japan, Russia, deepwater, molecular, morphology, Careproctus rastrinus, Careproctus scottae, Careproctus phasma, Careproctus acanthodes, Careproctus pellucidus, Careproctus trachysoma, Careproctus spectrum, Careproctus lerikimae

Full Text:

PDF/A (4.02 MB)


Able, K.W. & McAllister, D.E. (1980) Revision of the snailfish genus Liparis from Arctic Canada. Canadian Bulletin of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 208, 1–52.

Allen, M.J. & Smith, G.B. (1988) Atlas and zoogeography of common fishes in the Bering Sea and northeastern Pacific. U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA Technical Report NMFS, 66, 151 pp.

Andriashev, A.P. & Stein, D.L. (1998) Review of the snailfish genus Careproctus (Liparidae, Scorpaeniformes) in Antarctic and adjacent waters. Contributions in Science (Los Angeles), 470, 1–63.

Amaoka, K., Nakaya, K. & Yabe, M. (1995) The Fishes of Northern Japan. Kita-nihon Kaiyo Center, Sapporo, 391 pp. [in Japanese]

Balushkin, A.V. (1996) New genus and species of snailfish Palmoliparis beckeri (Scorpaeniformes, Liparidae) of the northern Kurile Islands with remarks on phylogeny of family. Voprosy Ikhtiologie, 36 (3), 293–299. [in Russian, English translation in Journal of Ichthyology, 36 (3), 281–287]

Bean, T.H. (1890) Scientific results of explorations by the U. S. Fish Commission Steamer Albatross. No. XI. New fishes collected off the coast of Alaska and the adjacent region southward. Proceedings of the United States National Museum, 13, 37–45.

Böhlke, J.E. (1953) A catalogue of the type specimens of Recent fishes in the Natural History Museum of Stanford University. Stanford Ichthyological Bulletin, 5, 1–168.

Burke, C.V. (1912) A new genus and six new species of fishes of the family Cyclogasteridae. Proceedings of the United States National Museum, 43, 567–574.

Burke, C.V. (1930) Revision of the fishes of the family Liparidae. Bulletin of the United States National Museum, 150, i–xii + 1–204.

Chapman, W.M. & DeLacy, A.C. (1934) New species of Careproctus from Alaska. Journal of the Pan-Pacific Research Institution, 9 (2), 2–5.

Chernova, N.V. (1999) Careproctus solidus sp. n., a new species of liparid fish (Scorpaeniformes, Liparidae) from the lower bathyal of the Polar Basin. In: Kassens, H., Bauch, H.A., Dmitrenko, I.A., Eicken, H., Hubberton, H.-W., Melles, M., Thiede, J. & Timokhov, L.A. (Eds.), Land-ocean Systems in the Siberian Arctic. Dynamics and History. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, pp. 181–188.

Chernova, N.V. (2005a) New species of Careproctus Liparidae from the Barents Sea and adjacent waters. Voprosy Ikhtiologii, 45 (6), 725–736. [English translation in Journal of Ichthyology, 45 (9), 689–699]

Chernova, N.V. (2005b) Review of Careproctus (Liparidae) of the North Atlantic and adjacent Arctic, including the generic type C. reinhardti, with rehabilitation of C. gelatinosus (Pallas) from Kamchatka. Journal of Ichthyology, 45 (Supplement 1), S1–S22.

Chernova, N.V. (2014a) New species of the genus Careproctus (Liparidae) from the Kara Sea and identification key for congeners of the North Atlantic and Arctic. Journal of Ichthyology, 54 (10), 757–780.

Chernova, N.V. (2014b) New species of the genus Careproctus (Liparidae) from the Kara Sea with notes on spongiophilia, reproductive commensalism between fishes and sponges (Rossellidae). Voprosy Ikhtiologii, 54 (5), 508–519. [English translation in Journal of Ichthyology, 54 (8), 501–512.]

Chernova, N.V., Stein, D.L. & Andriashev, A.P. (2004) Family Liparidae Scopoli 1777 — snailfishes. California Academy of Sciences Annotated Checklists of Fishes, 31, 1–72.

Evermann, B.W. & Goldsborough, E.L. (1907) The fishes of Alaska. Bulletin of the Bureau of Fisheries, 26, 219–360, pls. 14–42.

Fedorov, V. (1973) A list of Bering Sea fishes. Izvestiia Tikhookeanskogo nauchnogo instituta rybnogo khoziaistva [Bulletins of the Pacific Science Institute], 87, 42–71. [in Russian, English translation by U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service]

Fedorov, V.V., Chereshnev, I.A., Nazarkin, M.V., Shestakov, A.V. & Volobuev, V.V. (2003) Catalog of Marine and Freshwater Fishes of the Northern Part of the Sea of Okhotsk. Dalnauka, Vladivostok, 204 pp.

Gilbert, C.H. (1896) The ichthyological collections of the steamer Albatross during the years 1890 and 1891. United States Commission of Fish and Fisheries, Report of the Commissioner, 19, 393–476.

Gilbert, C.H. & Burke, C.V. (1912) Fishes from Bering Sea and Kamchatka. Bulletin of the Bureau of Fisheries, 30, 31–96.

Gilbert, C.H. & Burke, C.V. (1912) New cyclogasterid fishes from Japan. Proceedings of the United States National Museum, 42, 351–380.

Hikita, T. (1950) Hokusei-maru Sokobiki Chousa no sai Saishu seru Gyorui Sonota (Fishes and others collected by bottom trawls of Hokusei-maru). Hokubu Nihonkai Shinkai Gyoden Houkoku, 1950, 111–112. [in Japanese]

Hoff, G.R. (2013) Results of the 2012 eastern Bering Sea upper continental slope survey of groundfish and invertebrate resources. U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-AFSC-258, 268 pp.

Honma, Y. (1952) A list of the fishes collected in the Province of Echigo, including Sado Island. Japanese Journal of Ichthyology, 2–3, 138–145, 220–229. [in Japanese with English summary]

Honma, Y. (1963) Fish-fauna (Agnatha, Chondrichthyes, Osteichthyes) of Sado Island, Sea of Japan. Publications from the Sado Museum, 5, 12–32.

Honma, Y. (2013) The revised list of the fishes of Niigata Prefecture, Sea of Japan. Kashiwazaki City Museum, 27, 65–106. [in Japanese with English abstract]

Imamura, H. & Nobetsu, T. (2002) Careproctus parvidiscus, a new species of liparid fish (Teleostei: Scorpaeniformes) collected from the southern Okhotsk Sea, Japan. Ichthyological Research, 49, 156–158.

Isakson, J.S., Simenstad, C.A. & Burgner, R.L. (1971) Fish communities and food chains in the Amchitka area. Bioscience, 21 (12), 666–670.

Jordan, D.S. & Gilbert, C.H. (1899) The fishes of Bering Sea. In: Jordan, D. S., Fur Seals, and Fur-seal Islands of the North Pacific Ocean, Part 3. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., pp. 433–492.

Kai, Y., Orr, J.W., Sakai, K. & Nakabo, T. (2011a) Genetic and morphological evidence for cryptic diversity in the Careproctus rastrinus species complex (Teleostei: Liparidae) from the North Pacific. Ichthyological Research, 58, 143–154.

Kai, Y., Sakai, K., Orr, J.W. & Nakabo, T. (2011b) Secondary contact in the Sea of Japan: the case of the Careproctus rastrinus species complex (Liparidae). Ichthyological Research, 58, 366–369.

Katayama, M. (1952) Record of the fishes of northern Japan obtained off Tajima. Yamaguchi Daigaku Kyouiku Gakubu Kenkyu Ronsou, 2, 1–7. [in Japanese with English summary]

Kato, G. (1956) Nihonkai Kaisan Gyorui Mokuroku (A List of Marine Fishes of the Sea of Japan). Bulletin of the Japan Sea Regional Fisheries Research Laboratory, 4, 310–331. [in Japanese]

Kido, K. (1988) Phylogeny of the family Liparididae, with the taxonomy of the species found around Japan. Memoirs of the Faculty of Fisheries Hokkaido University, 35 (2), 125–256.

Kido, K. (1997) Cyclopteridae, Liparidae. In: Okamura, O. & Amaoka, K. (Eds.), Sea Fishes of Japan. Yama-kei Publishers, Tokyo, pp. 242–245. [in Japanese]

Kitagawa, D., Imamura, H., Goto, T., Ishito, Y., Fujiwara, K. & Ueda, Y. (2008) Field Guide of the Fishes from the Tohoku District, North-eastern Waters of Japan. Tokai University Press, Hadano, 141 pp.

Knudsen, S.W., Møller, P.R. & Gravlund, P. (2007) Phylogeny of the snailfishes (Teleostei: Liparidae) based on molecular and morphological data. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 44, 649–666.

Lindberg, G.U. & Krasyukova, Z.V. (1987) Fishes of the Sea of Japan and adjacent parts of Okhotsk and Yellow Sea. Part 5. Teleostomi, Osteichthyes, Actinopterygii. 30 Scorpaeniformes (176. Fam. Scorpaenidae – 194. Fam. Liparididae). Nauka, Leningrad. 526 pp. [in Russian]

Machi, K., Nobetsu, T. & Yabe, M. (2012) Careproctus rausuensis, a new liparid fish (Percomorphacea: Cottiformes), collected from Hokkaido, Japan. Bulletin of the National Museum of Nature and Science, Series A, 6 (Supplement), 6, 33–40.

Maeda, K. & Tsutsui, D. (2003) A list of fishes from Hokkaido. In: Ueda, K., Maeda, K., Shimada, H. & Takami, T. (Eds.), Fisheries and Aquatic Life in Hokkaido. Hokkaido Shinbunsha, Sapporo, pp. 481–504. [in Japanese]

Matsubara, K. (1955) Fish Morphology and Hierarchy, Parts I–III. Ishizaki Shoten, Tokyo, 1377 pp. [in Japanese]

Mecklenburg, C.W., Mecklenburg, T.A. & Thorsteinson, L.K. (2002) Fishes of Alaska. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland, 1037 pp.

Mecklenburg, C.W., Byrkjedal, I., Christiansen, J.S., Karamushko, O.V., Lynghammar, A. & Møller, P.R. (2013) List of Marine Fishes of the Arctic Region Annotated with Common Names and Zoogeographic Characterizations. Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna, Akureyri, Iceland, 35 pp.

Nakabo, T. & Kai, Y. (2013) Liparidae. In: Nakabo, T. (Ed.), Fishes of Japan with Pictorial Keys to the Species. 3rd Edition. Tokai University Press, Hadano, pp. 2059–2072. [in Japanese]

Nambu, H. & Kido, K. (1990) Fauna of family Liparididae of Toyama Bay, the Japan Sea. Bulletin of the Toyama Science Museum, 13, 107–111. [in Japanese with English abstract]

Nambu, H., Kido, K., Nashida, K., Yabe, M. & Minami, T. (1992) Records of fishes from Yamato Bank, the Japan Sea. Bulletin of the Toyama Science Museum, 15, 69–74. [in Japanese with English abstract]

Nelson, J.S., Crossman, E.J., Espinosa Pérez, H., Findley, L.T., Gilbert, C.R., Lea, R.N. & Williams, J.D. (2004) Common and Scientific Names of Fishes from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. 6th Edition. Special Publication 29. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland, 386 pp.

Okada, Y. & Matsubara, K. (1938) Keys to the Fishes and Fish-like Animals of Japan, including Kuril Islands, Southern Sakhalin, Bonin Islands, Ryukyu Islands, Korea and Formosa. Sanseido, Tokyo, 584 pp. [in Japanese]

Okiyama, M. (2004) Deepest demersal fish community in the Sea of Japan: a review. Contributions of the Biological Laboratory of Kyoto University, 29, 409–429.

Orlov, A.M. (2005) Bottom trawl-caught fishes and some features of their vertical distribution in the Pacific waters off the north Kuril Islands and south-east Kamchatka, 1993–1999. Aqua, Journal of Ichthyology and Aquatic Biology, 9 (4), 139–160.

Orr, J.W. (2012) Two new species of snailfishes of the genus Careproctus (Scorpaeniformes: Liparidae) from the Bering Sea and eastern North Pacific Ocean, with a redescription of Careproctus ovigerus. Copeia, 2012, 257–265.

Orr, J.W. & Maslenikov, K.P. (2007) Two new variegated snailfishes of the genus Careproctus (Teleostei: Scorpaeniformes: Liparidae) from the Aleutian Islands, Alaska. Copeia, 2007, 699–710.

Oshima, M. (1957) Notes on the bottom-fishes obtained at offshores of Niigata and Yamagata prefectures, with descriptions of five new species. Japanese Journal of Ichthyology, 6, 1–8.

Quast, J.C. & Hall, E.L. (1972) List of Fishes of Alaska and Adjacent Waters with a Guide to Some of their Literature. U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA Technical Report NMFS SSRF-658, 47 pp.

Parin, N.V., Fedorov, V.V. & Sheiko, B.A. (2002) An annotated catalogue of fish-like vertebrates and fishes of the seas of Russia and adjacent countries. Part 1. Order Scorpaeniformes. Journal of Ichthyology, 42 (Supplement 1), S60–S135.

Pitruk, D.L. (1990) A preliminary list and distribution of species of fishes of the family Liparididae in the Okhotsk Sea. Investigations in vertebrate zoology. Trudy Zoologicheskogo Instituta, Akademii Nauk SSSR, 213, 35–45. [in Russian, English summary]

Pitruk, D.L. (1991) Morphological bases of the system of liparid fishes (Scorpaeniformes, Liparididae) of the Careproctus-type from the Okhotsk Sea. Avtoref. Cand. Diss. Inst. Biol. Mory, Vladivostok, 22 pp. [in Russian, not seen, cited by Chernova (1999)]

Potthoff, T. (1984) Clearing and staining techniques. In: Moser, H.G., Richards, W.J., Cohen, D.M., Fahay, M.P., Kendall, A.W. Jr. & Richardson, S.L. (Eds.), Ontogeny and Sytematics of Fishes. The American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Special Publication No. 1, Lawrence, Kansas, pp. 35–37.

Rand, K.M & Logerwell, E.A. (2011) The first demersal trawl survey of benthic fish and invertebrates in the Beaufort Sea since the late 1970s. Polar Biology, 34, 475–488.

Schmidt, P. Yu. (1950) Fishes of the Sea of Okhotsk. Transactions of the Pacific Committee of the Academy of Sciences of the U.S.S.R., 6, 1–370, pls. 1–20. [in Russian, English translation by Israel Program for Scientific Translation, 1965]

Sheiko, B.A. & Fedorov, V.V. (2000) Chapter 1. Class Cephalaspidomorphi–lampreys. Class Chondrichthyes–cartilaginous fishes. Class Holocephali–chimaeras. Class Osteichthyes–bony fishes. In: Sheiko, B.A. & Artuykhin, Yu.B. (Eds.), Catalog of Vertebrates of Kamchatka and Adjacent Waters. Kamchatsky Pechatny Dvor, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, pp. 7–69. [in Russian]

Shinohara, G., Endo, H. & Matsuura, K. (1996) Deep-water fishes collected from the Pacific coast of northern Honshu, Japan. Monographs of the National Science Museum Tokyo, 29, 153–185.

Shinohara, G., Narimatsu, Y., Hattori, T., Ito, M., Takata, Y. & Matsuura, K. (2009) Annotated checklist of deep-sea fishes from the Pacific Coast off Tohoku District, Japan. National Museum of Nature and Science Monographs, 39, 683–735.

Shinohara, G., Shirai, S.M., Nazarkin, M.V. & Yabe, M. (2011) Preliminary list of the deep-sea fishes of the Sea of Japan. Bulletin of the National Museum of Natural Sciences, Series A, 37, 35–62.

Shinohara, G., Nakae, M., Ueda, Y., Kojima, S. & Matsuura, K. (2014) Annotated checklist of deep-sea fishes of the Sea of Japan. National Museum of Nature and Science Monographs, 44, 225–291.

Smith, W.L. & Busby, M.S. (2014) Phylogeny and taxonomy of sculpins, sandfishes, and snailfishes (Perciformes: Cottoidei) with comments of the phylogenetic significance of their early-life-history specializations. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 79, 332–352.

Soldatov, V.K. & Lindberg, G.U. (1930) A review of the fishes of the seas of the Far East. Izvestiia Tikhookeanskogo nauchnogo instituta rybnogo khoziaistva [Bulletins of the Pacific Science Institute], 5, i–xlvii + 1–576, pls. 1–15. [in Russian, summary and new taxa in English]

Stein, D.L. (2012) Snailfishes (family Liparidae) of the Ross Sea, Antarctica, and closely adjacent waters. Zootaxa, 3285, 1–120.

Stein, D.L., Chernova, N.V. & Andriashev, A.P. (2001) Snailfishes (Pisces: Liparidae) of Australia, including descriptions of thirty new species. Records of the Australian Museum, 53, 341–406.

Suzuki, T., Hosokawa, M. & Hatooka, K. (2000) Catalogue of the fishes of Hyogo Prefecture, based on the specimens collected by Toshiyuki Suzuki. Special Publication from the Osaka Museum of Natural History, 32, 1–143. [in Japanese]

Takegawa, Y. & Morino, H. (1970) Fishes from Wakasa Bay, Japan Sea. Publications of Seto Marine Biological Laboratory, 17, 373–392.

Taranetz, A.Y. (1937) Handbook for identification of fishes of Soviet Far East and adjacent waters. Izvestiia Tikhookeanskogo nauchnogo instituta rybnogo khoziaistva [Bulletins of the Pacific Science Institute], 11, 1–200. [in Russian]

Tsuda, T. (1990) Genshoku Nihonkai Gyorui Zukan (Colored Illustrations of the Fishes of the Sea of Japan). Katsura Shobo, Toyama, 612 pp. [in Japanese]

Ueno, T. (1971) List of marine fishes from the waters of Hokkaido and its adjacent regions. Scientific Reports of the Hokkaido Experimental Station, 13, 61–102. [in Japanese with English summary]

Von Szalay, P.G., Rooper, C.N., Raring, N.W. & Martin, M.H. (2011) Data Report: 2010 Aleutian Islands bottom trawl survey. U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-AFSC-215, 153 pp.

Wilimovsky, N.J. (1954) List of the fishes of Alaska. Stanford Ichthyological Bulletin, 4, 279–294.

Wilimovsky, N.J. (1958) Provisional keys to the fishes of Alaska. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Fisheries Research Laboratory, Juneau, Alaska, 113 pp.

Youn, C.-H. (2002) Fishes of Korea, with pictorial key and systematic list. Academy Publications Committee, Seoul, 747 pp. [in Korean]


  • There are currently no refbacks.

ISSN 1175-5326 (Print Edition) & ISSN 1175-5334 (Online Edition)
Published by Magnolia Press, Auckland, New Zealand
A founding journal of Biotaxa